She won the first athletics gold medal for the all-German team at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo. As the first woman in the world she ran the 100 meters hurdles at 13.0 seconds. At the Olympic Games in Mexico in 1968, she was flag bearer for the German Democratic Republic and in 1971 elected to the GDR female athlete of the year. It is one of the most successful hurdler of all time and was coached by her husband Karl -Heinz Balzer. Together with him, they fled in 1958 in the Federal Republic, but returned after two months at the insistence of the Ministry of State Security back in the GDR.
Karin Balzer is 1,71 m tall and had a competition weight of 64 kg. She began her career under her birth name Karin Richert at the BSG unit Magdeburg. In 1956 she moved to BSG Chemie Halle- Leuna. After their brief flight in the Federal Republic in 1958 she trained at SV Phönix Ludwigshafen. Back at the GDR, launched from 1960 to 1961 for the SC DHfK Leipzig. From 1962 to 1966 she competed for the SC Frankfurt and until her career end then for the SC Leipzig. Your greatest successes achieved Karin Balzer as hurdle sprinter, although she was a versatile athlete. So it was 1962, the second best pentathlete in the world. With their best performance in the pentathlon it occupies the fourth place in the eternal world leaderboard. 1966 wanted to switch to the 200 meters Karin Balzer, since their development over 80 meters hurdles due to the short distances hurdle stagnated. However, since there should be a change in the hurdle stretch on 100 meter hurdles, she stayed with the hurdles and ran in a test match on 19 July 1967, to unofficial world record for the 100 meter hurdles in 13.7 s
Including the indoor world records and times on yard routes Karin Balzer presented to a total of 37 world records. About the sections 60, 80 and 100 meters hurdles put them on seven world records. No other hurdle sprinter can look back on a comparable number of world best. Balzer is the only athlete in the world records over the two routes reach 80 and 100 meters hurdles. Karin Balzer was eleven times champion of the GDR. Of this total, seven titles in the hurdles, two on the pentathlon as well as one title on the long jump and the 200 -meter run.
Karin Richert first went through to 1955, trained as a chemical skilled worker on the operating vocational school " Heinz Chapel " of Fahlberg-List in Magdeburg- Westerhüsen. Later she studied sports science and was qualified sports teacher.
Karin Richert and her coach and significant future husband Karl -Heinz Balzer did not agree with their pre-drawn career in the GDR State sports and their intended delegation to the SC Dynamo. On July 21, 1958 they therefore fled across West Berlin to Ludwigshafen in the Federal Republic. By evaluation of Stasi files in 2003 could be shown that their return to East Germany two months later, not as shown by the SED propaganda voluntarily or even " remorseful " took place. Rather, Karin Richert was looking for her flight to the Republic of the State Security of the GDR, accompanied by her father and forced with threats against their remaining in the GDR family to return. It was occupied by a one-year competition ban and monitored in the coming years by employees of unofficial Stasi; her coach and later husband Karl -Heinz Balzer she was not allowed to accompany international competitions until 1966.
Karin Balzer was the mother of two sons, Andreas ( born October 7, 1965; † September 7, 1972 ( traffic accident ) ) and Falk Balzer (born 14 December 1973), who is also a successful hurdler was ( World Cup winner, European Vice Champion, owner of the German hall cup record ) before a doping offense a two-year competition ban (2001 - 2003) was awarded. From 1973 to 1976 she worked as a trainer. To her training group included, among others Kerstin Knabe and Silvia Cheerful, which was 1980 Olympic gold medalist in rowing. When she and her husband refused to administer doping agents to their athletes, she was forcibly transferred from Leipzig to Dresden in 1976. Your training group was dissolved. As a trainer, she could no longer work. You got a job as a sports teacher.
After the reunification in 1989, Karin Balzer first worked from 1990 to 1993 as a lecturer in social work. From 1997, Karin Balzer worked again as athletics trainer. Among other things, the Olympic champion from 1964 supervised her son Falk and Anja Rücker, which was founded in 1999 Vice World Champion over 400 meters. In 2006 she was chairman and trainer in the RBA Chemnitz. In 2007, she resigned due to serious health problems of her husband by the Office of the Chairman.